Region: Belgium

AB InBev ordered to recall Jupiler Blue over colour mark infringement

The Commercial Court of Brussels has upheld a complaint by Belgian brewer Alken-Maes against the packaging chosen by rival brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev for its Jupiler Blue beer. Among other things, the court ruled that most consumers would select Maes beer from among the various beers available on the market on the basis of the colour of its packaging.

25 July 2012

Use of mark in educational competition held to constitute use in the course of trade

The Brussels Court of Appeal has upheld an appeal by Responsible Young Drivers, a Belgian not-for-profit organisation promoting road safety, against a decision of the Brussels Commercial Court in which the latter had found that use of the term 'Responsible Young Drivers' in an educational competition did not constitute use in the course of trade or as a trademark.

02 July 2012

Moët Hennessy successfully enforces Veuve Clicquot colour mark

In <i>MHCS v Anglia Import-Export & P Marchand</i>, the Brussels Commercial Court has granted protection to the registered colour trademark for the champagne brand Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin. Among other things, the court held that use of a similar yellow-orange colour for a Spanish sparkling wine infringed Article 2.20.1(a) of the Benelux Code of Intellectual Property and Article 9(1)(a) of the Community Trademark Regulation.

07 February 2012

Difficulties of challenging lookalikes in absence of trademark protection highlighted

In <i>Coca-Cola v Vrumona</i>, the Court of Appeal of Antwerp has held that the rules on unfair competition cannot serve as a fall-back in the absence of trademark protection. Coca-Cola argued that Vrumona had copied the look and feel of its vitaminwater product, and sought to protect it under the unfair competition rules.

11 November 2011

Registered colour marks shown to be powerful tools

In two recent decisions, the Belgian courts have upheld a claim of infringement of well-known colour marks. The colour marks involved were the Benelux sky-blue colour mark used for Rizla cigarette papers, and Red Bull's abstract colour mark in blue and silver for energy drinks.

09 September 2011

Court annuls trademarks consisting of fictional brand of beer

The Brussels Commercial Court has annulled two DUFF BEER marks owned by Twentieth Century Fox. Duff beer is a fictional brand of beer in the television series <i>The Simpsons</i>. Arguably, it seems unfair that the owner of a trademark which is well known in relation to products from a virtual world remains unprotected against third parties which try to reap the benefit of the owner's investment.

16 June 2011

Amended ADR rules for ‘.be’ ccTLD introduced

DNS.BE, the registry responsible for the administration of the Belgian country-code top-level domain, ‘.be’, has made a number of amendments to its alternative dispute resolution procedure, implemented on January 1 2011. The main amendment is that ‘.be’ complaint managers now have the possibility to notify parties if an error has been made in a complaint or a response.

11 February 2011

Two different outcomes in cases involving descriptive word combinations

In cases involving the marks AQUACLEAN and DERM'INTIM, the Court of Cassation has ruled on two appeals on a point of law by the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property against judgments of the Brussels Court of Appeal. The different outcomes of the cases might suggest that the Court of Cassation was torn between a more permissive and a more restrictive approach to word marks that combine descriptive components.

25 January 2011

DNS BE unblocks domain names

The Belgian domain name registry has released approximately 200,000 '.be' domain names which had previously been blocked from registration. The domain names had been made unavailable for registration as part of the globally coordinated response against the notorious Conficker worm.

10 May 2010

DNS BE cancels 163 domain names

DNS BE, the registry responsible for the administration of the Belgian country-code top-level domain, has announced that it has cancelled 163 domain names which were being used in phishing scams. DNS BE cooperated with the Federal Computer Crime Unit, which filed a complaint with the relevant court.

07 April 2009

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